Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Word of the Day: charade

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Remember charades? You act out a word or phrase—without speaking. Ironically, charade is an old French word for “conversation.” The French also have a version of charades, but the player acts out a riddle, giving clues for each syllable. Charade originally was not the game but a clue within the game. As a singular noun, charade is alternately outlandish behavior. Where does that come from? Picture someone trying to act out the film title Hopalong Cassidy by bouncing around the room on one foot. In a looser sense, a charade is a ridiculous claim.

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